Sunday, February 18, 2007

Conversations OVERHEARD at Dinner

Ducky is delightful. Thursday night I arrived home to a refrain of Happy Birthday at the front door. There stood Ducky with a sinfully decadent truffle chocolate cake in hand, lit by a lone tea light, singing me into the house. He is so wonderful. Because of his 80-mile commute, Ducky normally stays in town on Thursday nights, but in honor of my birthday he came home and feted me pizza and cake. Could a girl be more blessed? I don’t think so.

Last night, to make up for the pizza (which was scrumptious – I’m a connoisseur of fine pepperoni pizza) Ducky took me out to dinner at the Adobe in Yachats. Since Thursday I’d been contemplating a cup of their to die for French Onion soup and wonderful North Pacific Salad. Of course when we get there, confronted by their menu I am suddenly in fits of confusion and indecision as to what to order (except the soup – folks that is a given, others may order clam chowder, but for me it is French Onion, end of story.) Filet and skewered prawns, prime rib, north Pacific salad – oh, the temptations – I was fine until the prime rib arrived at the table next to us. Ducky thought for certain I was a goner for the prime rib and about die from whiplash when I ordered the salad not two minutes later. Folk for me that is a fast landmark decision.

On a scale of one to ten the service was a five, edging towards six and yet I still tipped twenty percent. Er, Ducky tipped twenty percent. But the dinner conversations around us were pure elevens. Ducky and I chat in polite hushed tones; I even tone down my hideous cackle of a laugh when in polite public. We can converse entire evenings at home or in non-polite company with loud and rowdy voices, but in public we are quite civil. The other important fact to note here, is Ducky has worked around pneumatic tools for more than seventeen years; I have been a DJ for the same, we both lack good hearing skills because of our jobs.

Prime rib dad and fish n’ chips daughter, approximate age 6, (daughter not dad, although you will note that will be in question momentarily) were having a nice family meal, when non-descript mom, previously unheard from, piped into the conversation with, “She looks like me, I think.” This is the second comment from the table that truly caught my attention, prime rib having been the first.

I’m thinking, What, you’ve been her mother for six years now, and it’s only come to your attention now? Really, in most families this is a bone of contention from a child’s birth. I want you to note that between the time we ordered and were served Prime rib dad and family were served, ate, tipped, and left.

Before their quiet deportation, I noted that the family was from our hometown. He, a salesman, would now be on the road to parts beyond that would require him to be gone over nights on occasion, I didn’t discern what company he worked for, I didn’t know we had companies of that breadth here. And this one final tidbit that still has me cracking up, Prime rib dad, “I like knowing I am your protector. (Imagine puffing chest here) I heard you say my name in your sleep. I like being your hero.” Silence followed from the rest of the table. I mean really what do you say to that?

“Honey, your insecurity is showing.” “Quick, run he’s going to don those darn tights and cape again.” (Served with an understanding pat on the hand) “Babe, of course you’re her hero, she’s six.”

Shortly before being served, a full 40 plus minutes after ordering, the second couple sat at the table next to us. I wrongly believed they were one of those 40 to 50 something couples that were dating. Oh they were 40 to 50ish, but they were far from dating. First she deemed they both sit on the same side of the table for the view. Okay, it was 8 o’clock on a February night, pitch black to say the least, and the whole view boils down to seagull encrusted, wet grass against a backwash of dark ocean. Oh, and the mesmerizing search light of a lone crab boat. So I wrongfully assumed sitting on the same side of the table meant the same thing as sitting in the middle of the car seat when dating. Wrong. I guess she really did want the view.

Picking up the menu they began the debate over what to have. Apparently the menu in their room included Tapi, which the regular menu does not. Bummer, I can understand their frustration, Tapi is good, but so is the Swordfish, (and the only Halibut on the menu has a crappy béarnaise sauce on it - who wants to ruin a good Halibut?) which he soon discovered on the menu with much animated delight. That is until she discovered the filet with skewered prawns.

His previous animation was nothing in comparison. In a dramatic voice that equaled a theatrical stage presentation he asked, “Oh, where?” I mean ANIMATED THEATRICAL production. I began to wonder how far he would go to impress her for a second date?

I soon came to realize (as did probably the rest of the diners in our section) that they’d actually been together for eight years, were planning a trip to Hawaii soon, that included staying in a condo with extra room. “Maybe they should invite a second couple?”

Now, I know my husband his first thought at this comment was, Hmmm, I know what he wants. Hey, Ducky has his priorities, and all thought revolves around sex, this gives tv and movie watching an interesting monologue – but I digress. I also came to realize that she was TOTALLY in charge of all the couple’s finances.

He wants to go to Mexico, she says, “But, honey we can’t afford that, we’re already going to Hawaii.”

He says, “Oh we can do it, we’ll just budget it in.”

She says she wants to buy faded clothes so they fit right in with the locals (Hawaii – because you know he won’t get his trip to Mexico) and not stand out like tourist. He wants to wear his regular, comfortable clothes and doesn’t need faded clothes to be comfortable.

He wants to put something on the credit card (it was this part of the conversation that made me realize they were well established as a co-habitating, co-financing couple) because (and I didn’t catch what it was) cost more than $100. She doesn’t want him to use the credit card, because it cost sooo much to charge and she pays it off every month.

“Those $35 finance charges kill us.” I’m thinking, Girlfriend, walk away from Capitol One.

But, HE really wants it. And he pays for everything with cash that is under $100. “Pluuuuueeeease.” WTF?

“Did you really mean I can’t go golfing tomorrow morning? I really want to golf tomorrow morning.”

“No, we can’t afford it. It’s $100 for green fees.” (I guess this is what he wanted to put on the card. So I’m thinking he really wants to go to Sandpines or Salishan, and boy, this morning was perfect for golf.)

“But I really want to go golfing. And I got a bonus I can use to pay for it.”

“Well, if you go golfing, do I get jewelry?”

In my family this is called a Sandy moment (the name of Ducky’s exwife) Ducky says she’ll get the jewelry and he still won’t get to golf.



Sister Mary Lisa said...

Happy Birthday, C!

And....a package arrived just for me!!! Made my day. You rock. Thanks so much!!